Seven spring adventures that are free

We at TAFE NSW strongly believe in life/study balance and know how important it is to take a break every now and then. With the holidays rapidly approaching, we thought we'd give you a round-up of some great activities you can do around the state that have free (or very cheap) admission.

Echo Point, Katoomba

Easily the most well-known and popular attraction in the Blue Mountains, Echo Point is where you can view the famous Three Sisters rock formations that tower more than 900m above the Jamison Valley. And if you're feeling adventurous (and fit) you can go all the way to the valley floor via the Giant Stairway. Yes, that's over 800 steel and stone steps! Don't forget to squeeze those glutes now.

Whale watching, Jervis Bay

Definitely one for the nature and animal lovers. While there are organised whale watching cruises that charge admission, if you get a good vantage point on one of the many cliffs and beaches you can watch these magnificent mammals for free. Most whales sighted off Jervis Bay are humpbacks doing their annual migrations along the east coast between June and November.

National Art Glass Gallery, Wagga Wagga

This collection of studio glass began in 1979 and is now housed in its own purpose-built gallery in central Wagga Wagga. A world class and nationally significant collection of over 400 pieces from both Australian and international artists. Well worth a visit for anyone who enjoys contemporary glass art and design.

Blackbutt Reserve, Newcastle

If you love bushwalking and hand-feeding native Australian animals, you'll love Blackbutt Reserve. Located in the middle of Newcastle's suburbs, the area is a sprawling 182 hectare bushland reserve offering nature trails, wildlife exhibits and four main picnic and recreational areas.

Kiama Blowhole, Kiama

With over 900,000 visitors every year, this natural phenomenon is Kiama's most popular tourist attraction. A viewing platform with disability access allows for great views of the blowhole, allowing you to stand so close you can get drenched with sea spray.

Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney

Occupying a prime harbour-side position right next to the Sydney Opera House, the Royal Botanic Gardens are gorgeous at any time of year but really come into their own in spring. Great for joggers, picnickers, botanists and nature lovers, the Gardens are an immaculate oasis in the middle of Sydney's concrete jungle.

Koala Care Centre, Lismore

The Lismore area has one of the highest koala populations in the state and the voluntary organisation, Friends of the Koala, helps protect the Aussie icons from the pressures of disease, habitat loss, road traffic and dog attacks. The Centre allows you to get up close and personal with the cuddle critters. Technically not free as they request a $5.00 donation, but certainly worth a visit if you're in the Lismore area.